The co-op has been in the news again lately, following a series of boardroom leaks that triggered the shock resignation of chief executive Euan Sutherland. He quit the group after just ten months, describing it as “ungovernable”, following a string of leaks revealing his £3.6million salary.
Private detectives have now been brought in by the Co-operative Group to investigate and pinpoint the source of the leaks. The leaks are thought by most to have come from one or more of the Co-op’s board of 21 members, some of whom are known to be resistant to the reform of the group and attempts to cut links to the Labour Party.
With all the bad press private investigators get as an industry, we were glad to see an instance of detectives being brought in to provide help in a high profile case.
The misconduct has cost the company greatly, and will continue to affect them both financially and in terms of credibility. The hiring of the private investigators is believed to be aimed at shocking undisciplined board members into recognising the seriousness of the situation.
The impact of the leaks was instantly evident, despite the Co-op having no shareholders and being owned by its members, with the group’s 12-year bond due for repayment in 2025 falling by almost 5% following Sutherland’s resignation. One source said: ‘There have been the very serious board-level leaks by directors. The Co-op may not have any shares but it does have rated instruments and these are market-sensitive’.
At Insight Investigations we have been involved in a number of high profile cases similar to this, and when used as a preventive measure as opposed to a post-matter solution, our investigation services could help to reach a suitable solution. Had the co-op found a solution before the incident they could have saved credibility and potential losses. For more information on our corporate and commercial investigation services call us on 0800 14 55 123.